In 1675 a fire devastated London England. Nine years later Sir Christopher Wren laid a foundation stone in what would be his greatest architectural achievement –the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
It took him thirty five long years to complete his task, and when it was done he waited breathlessly for the reaction of her majesty, Queen Anne.
After being carefully shown through the structure, she summed up her feelings for the architecture in three words: “It is awful; it is amusing; it is artificial.”
How you would feel if these words were used to describe the work of your life! But upon hearing these words from his Queen he heaved a sigh of relief and bowed gratefully before his queen.
How could this be? The explanation is simple: In 1710 the word awful meant “awe-inspiring,” the word amusing meant “amazing,” and the word artificial meant “artistic.”
What to our ears might sound like a devastating criticism were in that time words of praise.
Quoted from The Desperate Preachers Website Lectionary Discussion of John 1:1-14